Health Updates 19 September 2011

  • GOP candidates denounce ‘Obamacare‘ but won’t repeal the Medicare drug benefit: Debt and deficit are the focus of the Republican Party as the 2012 presidential campaign moves through the nominating process and looks ahead to the general election.  Yet the reluctance of GOP candidates to renounce a costly entitlement program that voters like shows how politics can come into play when critiquing the federal ledger.” (Associated Press)
  • Birth control pills recalled, unintentional pregnancy may occur: “A spokesman for Qualitest Pharmaceuticals said that ‘there are no immediate health issues currently’ because of the packaging problems.  Rather, he said, the chief concern is that women may unintentionally become pregnant after taking the oral contraceptive…The recall affects these products: Cyclafem 7/7/7, Cyclafem 1/35, Emoquette, Gildess FE 1/5/30, Gildess FE 1/20, Orsythia, Previfem and Tri-Previfem.”  (Associated Press)
  • Hard times lead to hard knocks for kids: “Among the myriad negative consequences of the recession that began in December 2007 was a significant increase in the rate of abusive head trauma in children younger than 5, researchers found.”  Poverty and stress are “recognized risk factors for abuse.  This study evaluated whether the economic turn-down in recent years also plays a role…the study found that the rate of abusive head trauma increased significantly during the months of an economic recession compared with the 47 months before the recession”.  The researchers argued that “efforts should be made to identify specific triggers contributing to caregiver stress during times of financial hardship and to find ways of modifying the stressors.” (Nancy Walsh, Medpage Today)
  • Miami Medicare fraudster sentenced to 50 years in prison: “On Friday, a federal judge slammed Duran, 49, with a 50-year prison sentence for orchestrating a staggering $205 million scam at his Miami-based chain of mental health clinics.  The sentence may end up being the longest prison term ever imposed on someone convicted of Medicare fraud.” (Miami Herald)

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